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Corbett, Wolf Talk Agriculture in Rock Springs

Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, August 12-14 is the state’s largest outdoor agricultural exhibition.  ERG Partners is pleased to participate in the event annually, both as a sponsor and through its membership on the Penn State Ag Council.  This year’s Ag Progress Days featured energy conservation, regulation, shale energy development and on-farm renewable energy sources. Exhibitors and Penn State Extension educators provided information to the public on alternative energy markets, credits and farm energy sources, giving visitors an opportunity to hear about new products and system applications that provide benefits, along with savings over conventional energy sources and supplies.  The event also featured presentations on land management issues, easements, leasing and trends of royalty income, proposed regulatory requirements and updates on energy policy.

On Government Day, more than 600 guests were addressed by Penn State’s new President Eric Barron, State Ag Secretary George Greig, Governor Tom Corbett, and Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.  During Wednesday’s luncheon, Barron praised the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, as well as the Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences, which was renewed this summer after a five year hiatus.

Secretary Greig pointed to successes of the Corbett Administration for agriculture, including elimination of the state inheritance tax, changes in law that benefit farmers when moving implements of husbandry, and passage of transportation and infrastructure funding, including permanent funding for the state’s dirt and gravel roads program.

The Governor said he was pleased to fund the Governor’s School and cited increased funding to the state’s local and county fairs to $6.8 million.  Corbett too talked about dirt and gravel road funding, and talked about his efforts as Attorney General to get engaged in agriculture with implementation of the state’s ACRE act which created a “right to farm” for Pennsylvania agriculture.

Following Corbett to the podium, Wolf, the former Revenue Secretary, talked about his own experience in agriculture, while in the Peace Corps plowing a field with a wood bottom plough and helping teach Indians about the values of high yielding rice.  He said that there are four things that can improve the agricultural sector in Pennsylvania, including investments in education, infrastructure, creation of a level playing field and full responsible use of the state’s natural resources.  He said as governor, he would connect policies to agriculture, using as an example, Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds for a food market in Philadelphia being contingent on use of PA agricultural products.